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Just diagnosed... Now What Do I Do?
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Hi there, Everyone:

I apologize in advance if these are stupid questions, but I don't have any health insurance and am scared, so here goes.

I just was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a free clinic, and they said that I should let my "regular doctor" know. I don't have a regular doctor, because we can't afford health insurance.

So I need to know what do I do now??? Are there ANY good resources out there on what I need to do? I haven't been able to find any good websites at all.

I know I need to modify my diet, so what do I eat???

Do I need to buy blood testing equipment / urine testing equipment? If so, which ones do I buy? will the pharmacist know what I need? (Or will he make me buy the most expensive stuff?)

How do I tell if I need to go to the emergency room?

What do I eat / do if I feel feint / confused?

I am sorry to have so many basic questions, but I won't be able to see a diabetic advice nurse for another two weeks, and I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize my health in the next two weeks.

Thanks in advance.
Posted on 02/07/12, 05:03 pm
17 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Advice
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Reply #1 - 02/07/12  7:50pm
" Do you have a county health service? Since I lost my job and now am on disability, I used my county's health service. I wasn't charged for their services. They take medicare and medicaid. They will have programs to get the testing equipment at no charge. A doctor there can help you with your diabetes and tell you how and what to eat. Now that I'm disability, I still use the same doctor I started with. Hang in there. There are programs for you. Another thing you can do is search the web for information. And, don't forget. We're here for you. Ask any question you have and there are no dumb questions. "
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Reply #2 - 02/07/12  7:55pm
" Hi newly,

First of all, take a deep breath, and |I know that this is intimidating. More so because of your insurance situation. There is a lot that you can do, first of all what you eat is key. Start out by learning about what foods you need to stay away from. White breads, potatoes, white rice are not good, but there are substitutes, there are some wonderful whole grain breads and |I find that sweet potatoes make a wonderful substitute for regular potatoes. Of course, avoid sugars and start to exercise. That exercise should not be too strenuous at first, something that gets you into it without having to force yourself to do it.

Newly, you can do this, you really can! In terms of meters your best bet is to go to your local Wal-mart and I know that in the "USA they have some reasonably priced meters and test strips! That is your best bet without health insurance. If you have internet service, and i assume that you do, for food ideas, go to, they have a really great recipe section! If you do decide to monitor daily, I have a free website that you can use to put your data into. It is at it is entirely free for diabetics to help them with their monitoring.

Don't worry, we will get you through this! Everyone here is really great and our goal is to help you adjust. There are no silly questions and we are all here to help!!!

Big hugs,

lary "
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Reply #3 - 02/07/12  9:17pm
" Can't give any advice, your profile does not state were you live, each State has a program. I can only suggest you go to your county seat and find out what is available for you. "
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Reply #4 - 02/07/12  11:03pm
" Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement and the suggestions.

the encouragement is REALLY appreciated because my wife is not so sympathetic to my condition. She blames me and my (admittedly) unhealthy eating habits.

So, this morning, she started to separate all the dishes and utensils into stacks; one stack that I can use, one stack that the rest of the family will use and that I am not allowed to touch.

When I mentioned to her that, to the best of my knowledge, diabetes is not a communicable disease, she then went into a tirade. I will try and save you all the long story, but I think the highlight of her rant was when she said, "I swear I won't even cry when I see your casket being placed in the ground."

So, I am guessing that my spouse is NOT going to be the pillar of strength that I was hoping she might be...

Stranger Than Fiction: She was laying into me tonight while I was trying to come up with something for dinner. I finally turned to her and said, "Can't I just enjoy my fat-free cottage cheese in peace?"

I actually used the words "enjoy" and "fat-free cottage cheese" in the same sentence...

@ foxysdad:

Thanks for the mention about the county. Yes, I will see if I can get medical here.

Ad for searching the web for information, I will give it another go tomorrow. It seems that MOST of the sites out there are not that helpful; they are more just a referral service for private practitioners, or an affiliate service for medical supplies.

@ Lary;

Again, thanks for the encouragement :)

You mentioned, "There is a lot that you can do, first of all what you eat is key." I have a lot of catching up to do, but in the meantime, is it safe to say that I should be eating low fat AND low carb diet? (I think that is similar to the South Beach Diet)

I used to do atkins diet, but from what I understand, that has too much fat, right? All the red meat and cheese.

Funny Story: I stopped off at Trader Joes and asked if they had a list of Low Carb (or diabetic-friendly) foods. The woman behind the counter had like 11 lists that they keep. Literally, she was reading the titles of the lists out to me: low fat, wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegetarian, vegan, kosher...

I figured if I looked at all 11 lists, then if I could find something that was on ALL of them, it would be safe to eat.

@ grannie:

Thanks for the mention. I will try and call them up on Wednesday. I am in northern California.

A while back I tried to get medical for our son (four years old at the time), and that was a NIGHTMARE. Mostly because the office only accepts people from 8 to 10 am (two hour window) and people start lining up at 5:00 am.

It turns out that children get automatically enrolled for 6 months every time they go to one of the county clinics. "
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Reply #5 - 02/07/12  11:54pm
" I'm not sure about California's policies, but in our state (IL), if you are on public aid or below a specific income level, you can apply for medicaid. That might be something to look into.

Low carb is what you want to think about. Yes, low fat if you have to lose weight, but remember, you can't go no carb or too low, because you need to have a minimum number of carbs for your body to function. A good internet site is There are articles, recipes and lots of good information, and they're not asking for anything from you.

And remember, your spouse might be as terrified as you. She doesn't understand what's going on (if she's separating dishes), and doesn't even know how to approach it. You both will need to learn how to deal with diabetes. But it is doable - all of us here are facing the same diagnosis and trying to figure out how best to handle it. I know that reading up on a number of websites, and coming here to ask questions, has made a huge difference for me. "
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Reply #6 - 02/08/12  12:23pm
" Thank you for the info and the encouragement, AmDK.

In California, we have something called medical (instead of medicaid). I think there are a few differences, but it is basically the same. Except that our medical budget is about to be slashed big time.

right now I need to find a web site with just a simple meal planner, so I have an idea as to what to eat for each meal. If anybody can point me in the direction of a SIMPLE meal planner, I would be very much appreciative.

Thanks in advance. "
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Reply #7 - 02/08/12  1:39pm
" Hi neighbor, I live in N California too.

The public library should have books on diabetes, meal planning etc.
to get you started.

John7013 "
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Reply #8 - 02/08/12  1:43pm
" is NOT contagious. you should get a monitor they are not really expensive but you may be able to get one through the clinic.

You can eat most things...meat, wheat bread (some) veggies, fruit. I was told to keep the carbs between 30 and 45 a meal and make sure you have protein with your carbs.

try to get active. can you walk everyday?

we are here to support you! "
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Reply #9 - 02/20/12  9:06am
" It is NOT transmittable between people, have your wife come here and learn with you....amazing what people think about this disease. Yes this disease can be helped along with poor diet, overweight but there are many of us who have this just because of family history, and whether or not your body just decides you have it....I am one of those - family history and was in excellent health, etc but I got blessed.

You are not going to die from this, unless you decide you will not take care of yourself, it is the complications from this disease that do the harm.

Ok first - is there a walmart near you? they have a very inexpensive meter their brand - relion and test strips for this meter are inexpensive. You should start monitoring your numbers - morning fasting (before breakfast) and night before bed. Then at least one more during the day say 2 hours after a meal - pick a meal...I rotate one day after breakfast, one day after lunch, etc.

The goal is to control the numbers between 100-140 but this won't happen overnight. Some doctors say anything under 125 or no higher than 160, just depends ...were you given any meds? metformin is the usual and most common one many are started on, and if you have a walmart pharmacy you can get this for a couple of dollars. usual dosage is 1 pill a day.

Ok diet - basically it is not a 'diabetic' diet it is a healthy fried foods constantly - loaded with in a while won't hurt but not right now until you get into control. Stay away from white breads, white rice, potatoes and pastas. Find the light style breads, in multigrain or wheat, no white potatoes but try a sweet potato, no pastas but there is a dreamfields brand which is diabetic friendly and you cannot tell the difference, don't let people tell you they can lol.

Learn portion controls, don't think "sugar free" or no sugars since carbs are sugars and they are in everything including celery lol. Once you learn to read labels you will see many "sugar free" items have more carbs than something normal.

Yes it will help if the family is on board but sometimes they are just as scared by the unknown, that is why I think it would be great if she learned with you, went to the diabetic nurse with you etc.

And now for my words of advice I am becoming known for on this site ROFLMAO (I have had this 16 years, I do what I want still, every active, not many complications, eating is healthy and exercise is part of this...humor is also part of my way to control and deal and yes I eat chocolate, and I am in very tight control)

So, go stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself "I will do this, I can do this, I will do this first for myself in order to be there for my family", tell yourself this everyday....and it will be hard to do this since you have a food policeman in the house, I had one and it takes a while to train them but it can be done with patience (just look at her and smile, say thank you for your concern) Remember she might be just as scared as you, overwhelmed with this, maybe heard horror stories.

But knowlege is power, ask all the questions you have, all the concerns, ask us about her concerns, etc ...that is why we are here to help the newbies not learn the hard way some of us have had to learn, but you can do this...

get out by walking, take the family on a walk, exercise will help control your numbers. Do visit us often, don't just fade away... "
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Reply #10 - 02/20/12  9:06am
" and there is no stupid questions "

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